The school year is in full swing. Most young people have been in classes for more than a month and already a long list of things have happened. Natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes, political unrest domestically and abroad, a primary election, recognition of another 9/11 anniversary, students lost to freak accidents, tragic car accidents and health related causes, daily observations of teens texting while driving and driving without a seat belt connected, teens showing school spirit and pride through competitive sports, seniors engaging in the college application process. This list could go on and on.
My question for teens is this: What does your list consist of? sports? academics? friends? girlfriends? boyfriends? family time? college? negative behaviors? jobs? independence? substance abuse? Whatever it may be, every teen has a list and that list is important. What is the list? The list is what teens have either in their minds or somewhere on paper or in a journal that outlines what is most important to them at this point in their lives. The list tells the older folk alot. The list tells us what our young people are thinking about and what they think about the world in which they live. The list can indicate if a person is headed in the right direction or falling prey to some negative influences. The list. It can seem so simple, yet can be complicated. One thing for sure is this: education should be #1 on the list. As I've stated before, without an education, life will have very few options.
To teenagers, I say this: Whatever your list consists of, make education #1 on your list. Encourage your friends to make education #1 on their lists. Go to school, everyday and learn all you can, challenge your teachers to teach you until you understand, encourage your parents to come to the school, sit in your class, volunteer and hold the administration accountable for providing excellent teachers who can deliver excellent instruction. Make graduation a stepping stone and not the end stone. Set your sights on college. If you like all those things on your list, most of them will not be achievable without a good education and a good education starts in the school in which you attend. High school is the last in a 12 year process of life preparation. There are only 4 years in high school. Have many years have you let get by because education was not #1 on your list?